BAD AXE – After a short but palpable period of silence from commissioners, a motion to reconsider allowing a wind overlay district in Section 13 of McKinley Township failed for lack of action.
For the issue to brought back to the table, one of the three commissioners who voted “no” to the original resolution on June 12 would have had to make a motion to have another vote.
Commissioners David Peruski, Ron Wruble and John Nugent voted against the resolution; John Horny, Clark Elftman and Steve Vaughan voted in favor of it.
Since the vote was split 3-3, it failed for lack of majority support.
Commissioner John Bodis, whose vote could have tipped the decision, was not in attendance June 12 and had an excused absence.
Immediately after Elftman acknowledged Peruski, Wruble and Nugent were standing by their original vote, Bodis said the outcome would have been different if he had been present when the resolution was before the board.
“Had I been here, I would have voted yes to allow Mr. (Phil) Leipprandt’s property into the wind turbine overlay,” he said.
“It’s a sad day for Huron County,” Horny chimed in.
“I agree with you, John,” Elftman said.
During final board comment, Horny added to his statements regarding the failure of the motion, saying it is unpatriotic for people to refuse necessary changes that would advance our community and nation. He said wind energy might not be the ideal solution, but it is a “stop gap” on the road to energy independence.
“People who don’t want change will die. Change is natural,” Horny said. “If people don’t change, where’s this country going to be? … We need to have pure, clean energy.”
During the first public comment period of the meeting, which was before the failed motion, McKinley Township landowner Phil Leipprandt urged Commissioners David Peruski, Ron Wruble and John Nugent to bring the motion back to the table.
“We thought we had an agreement made. We filled all the requirements to have windmills on our property,” he said.
Also during public comment, another McKinley Township landowner, Virgil Bouck asked the board to let the original vote stand. He said his family has turned down land leases because they fear the leases could be sold to an untrustworthy company.
“We thank you for the support you’ve shown us, and I hope you’ll continue to show it in the future,” he said to the board.
After the motion failed, Keith Iseler, of Huron Township, told the board he is “extremely disappointed” the three dissenters did not bring the issue back for a vote while the full board was present.
“I find the actions here to be politically motivated, self-centered, slanted, lousy,” he said.
Also during Tuesday’s regular meeting of the Huron County Board of Commissioners:
• The commissioners observed a moment of silence for Lake Township Supervisor Robert Smith, who died over the weekend.
• During the Committee Meeting of the Whole, Vaughan reminded people who visit the wolverine in the Huron County Court House to sign the guest book.
• Elftman announced that the county will be holding a contest to give the Thumb wolverine, now known only as “Pretty Girl,” a name. Submissions may be sent to the Huron County Board of Commissioners, c/o Jodi Essenmacher, 250 E. Huron Avenue, Bad Axe, MI 48413.
• Elftman announced that Huron County Health Department Health Officer Gretchen Tenbusch will speak at the July 17 Board of Commissioners meeting to present information regarding the possibility of establishing a low-income/Medicaid dental clinic for Huron, Sanilac and Tuscola county residents.
• Appointed Sarah Durr to the position of chief deputy Register of Deeds at a salary of $30,426, effective July 2.
• Employed Christine Pfeilstucker as a full-time clerk/typist in the Register of Deeds Office at a salary of $20,503.
• Promoted Brandon Kadar to sergeant for the Huron County Sheriff’s Office with a salary of $49,989, effective June 30.
• Employed Eric Hessling as a full-time road patrol deputy in the sheriff’s office with a salary of $34,253, effective July 14.
• Employed Matt Blaine as a full-time corrections officer in the sheriff’s office, with a salary of $31,863, effective July 28.
• Employed Ryan Werner as a part-time deputy sheriff, effective June 27.
• Promoted Daryl Ford to detective/ deputy sheriff for the Huron County Sheriff’s Office with a salary of $43,247, effective June 16. This vote passed 6-1, with Elftman dissenting because he said he believes the effective date of a motion should not occur until after the board votes on the issue.
• Accepted the retirement of Sandy Prill- Osantoski from the Treasurer’s Office, with regret.